didn't need asking twice when Johnny asked me to join him for a couple of days
leisurely Barbel fishing over on the River
Wye on the Red Lion stretch of water over at
It was a river I had never fished before, so laden with a car full of hemp, boilies and
pellets I took the long early morning drive across from home, and arrived in time for a
bit of breakfast with Johnny, his wife Charlotte and junior Jensen Emil, who had already
spent a few days there with Nigel Bothaway and family catching some lovely Barbel &
I couldn't wait to get started and see the
river, and it sure didn't disappoint, with lovely clear water, streamer weed, bends, pools
overhanging trees... loads and loads of really fishy looking spots. Straight away Johnny
had a nice Barbel on a boilie, while the Chub Queen (and Barbel Queen- it matters not
which) Charlotte nobbled a couple of nice Chub in the evening.
keenie, I dragged myself out of bed
before dawn each morning, kind of in hope of a Barbel, but also looking to see the river
at its most ethereal and get some shots of the dawn, before joining the other boys and
girls for a bit of food at the more civilised hour they managed to stir from the pit.
During the course of the stay we had some
nice Barbel (although, as usual, I lost the biggest one I hooked on a snag after it bolted
off downstream like a runaway train on an unstoppable run- bugger), and the average size
of Chub was really nice- I think I had seven from one pitch in an evening, and almost all
were over 4lbs, with the best at 5lb 6oz. I know most of the Barbel-Heads seem to despise
them, but at that average size I had no complaints.
A 'Chubby' overhang. Didn't catch anything from
under it though- even though the bank was entwined with protruding roots under the
As is often the case,
the best was saved until last. I had sat in a swim all day feeding it up, and had caught
some nice Chub and a Barbel. Johnny and family had been out to the Brecon Beacons for the
day and had joined me for a short evening session before I had to go home. So they dropped
into a spot just 20 yards upstream of where I was sitting, and out went a couple of rods-
one for Charlotte & one for Johnny; with no loose feed, no stringer or PVA bag- just
hookbaits only. Johnny quickly brought down a welcome beer, and as he handed it over
we heard a squeal and looked round to see Charlotte hanging on grimly to her rod as the
line buzzed from her reel! A few moments later it rolled into the landing net, and
needless to say it was the biggest of the couple of days at a shade over 10lbs. The Barbel
Queen strikes again!! I
did ask her if she could just run her fingers through my bait buckets. If only us blokes
could bottle that pheromone...
We fished on for a while before
heading back to the pub on darkness for some more excellent grub courtesy of the Red Lion.
A lovely place, and highly recommended if you get half a chance.
The Red Lion Hotel site is here (non-commercial plug, by the
way- it's just a nice place).
The Red Lion Hotel,
word- must use it again!) mist over the river.
My first Wye
Barbel. Only a little'un, but they're all welcome.
dead fishy looking pool that gave up only a couple of Chub for yours
truly.. although Charlotte was to lose a nice Barbel in here eventually.
Chub Queen (and no, I don't mean Christopher Biggins).
She then swapped
into Barbel Queen and wound this ten pounder in. Good work!
My best of the
trip- 8lb 10oz. It fought like mad too, which was nice.
to tempt fate!
A 4 pound plus Wye
Chub taken on darkness.
And followed next
cast by this 5lb 6oz fish.
happens to your bait on the river bed? This minnow frenzy occurred when I
just dropped a bit of my sandwich in an inch of water at the edge!
Up at first light
to catch the dawn... and hopefully a fish or two.
JJ lands a nice
... and Emil helps
show it off for a picture.